How ‘Bout An Old Fashioned?

It occurred to me today I’ve never made an Old Fashioned. Drank many of them, but never actually made any. And with the arrival of a GIANT bottle of Angostura bitters in the house (do they make a small bottle even?) now is the time for making one. Apparently there is a lot of hub-bub on how to properly make one. In my opinion, the less you mess with a classic the better it is.

1 sugar cube (La Perruche is in the house)
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
2-3 drops of water
2-1/2oz Bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace)
1 lemon peel

Drop the sugar cube in an Old Fashioned glass. On top of that sugar cube drop the water and the bitters, muddle together. Add the bourbon and stir together to mix. Add 2 ice cubes. If you can successfully ignite a lemon peel (or orange peel- I would have chosen the orange but alas, none in the house), spark it and drop into the glass. If you’re like me, and have been shown by the bartender at Bigfoot West about 30 times now how to do this, but immediately forget once home- maybe consider muddling the peel with the sugar, or just giving it a good twist and dropping it in the glass. Tip back.

No notes. Just enjoyed some bourbon with aromatics.

Try 30- still not a success.

 

Grapefruit’s Last Hoorah

Why are there grapefruits still around at the farmer’s market? That’s what I’d like to know. Wasn’t I told by a reliable source that citrus is a winter fruit? Something to do with a long, drawn-out rainy season. And the unseasonable cold temperatures we had in California. But here they are, grapefruits.

On occasion I’m requested to mix the odd Greyhound here at the house. But ugh. So boring sometimes. One needs a little something extra. Some oomph. Oh, yeah- and something not vodka.

I have a couple of recipes using grapefruit, but I want to keep them to the side for other specific recipes. So going on the hunch that Noilly Prat French Dry Vermouth is good in everything (obviously not everything, but was really quite tasty in some baked ziti dish I made the other day- very unexpected), I added some in here.

2oz Broker’s Gin
1-1/2oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2oz of Noilly Prat Dry French Vermouth
2-3 dashes of Miracle Mile Orange Bitters

In a shaker filled 2/3 with ice, add all of the ingredients. Shake well to mix and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

It just works. The bitters give a nice spicy quality, and overall it’s a touch sweet and fragrant. And more exciting then a greyhound. However, with one last note. I did make a version with vodka. It’s a little less exciting. The gin adds that little oomph.

Make It: Hibiscus Infused Tequila

I had scratched down an idea for a floral drink when the idea came up on Mixology Monday. And then I was out of town and forgot about it. I’m revisiting some ideas this week that I had left to the side and now have some time to actual try. For this recipe, keep in mind that Hibiscus is pretty astringent and this is not a liquor I’d knock back on its own. However, when mixed properly and sweetened, it’s delicious.

6 oz Tequila
1-1/2 Tablespoons Dried Hibiscus Flowers

Combine ingredients in a jar and seal. Refrigerate for 2 hours and then strain out the hibiscus and discard it. Or, if you’re like me and you forget it in the fridge for 24 hours, it’s also ok not ok. It gets too bitter. Stain it out immediately. Although it starts to move into the realm of bitter It’s so bitter, so taste it first after you’ve discarded the flowers.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator indefinitely.

Now This is Clever: Berry Digestif

I’m trying to remember to mark down ideas that I see in other places here so that I can just go back to one spot and find them all. So far I’ve been terrible at it. However, yesterday, with a mounting fresh fruit becoming overly ripe problem at the house (hello fruit flies!), I came across this recipe in one of the food blogs I read. Mmmm is all I said to myself when I read it.

 

 

Photo Via Yummy Supper

 

Could this be done with some too ripe peaches as well? Me thinks so! Overall I just love the simplicity of this and I think that is key for batches of summer drinks.

Now This Is Clever: Mrs. Lilien Dresses Up Your Drinks

Like most ladies who adore large hats and bejeweled crocodile brooches, I am an avid reader/looker-on of the Mrs. Lilien blog. For a little while now, with news of a cocktail book in the near future, she has released a series of outfits/accessories/etc. inspired by cocktails.

Now, if anyone has hit the target with me on exactly the right way to market, it’s this woman. Show me a chiffon gown with some shiny earrings, a beautiful goblet and name it all after a favorite cocktail of mine and BOOM. I’m sold. I recently was in Vegas for a couple of days and found myself staring at those scroll sunglasses from Prada and walked away only because they had sold out of the black ones. Even more odd was that my husband thought they looked cool. I’m still blinking confusedly thinking of that. I would never have known of their existence (or intense desire to HAVE THEM) until she put it out there as part of a clever ensemble.

Slam.

Crap. I believe that was most of the male readers leaving the room. For those men remaining I have a deep affection for scotch and cigars too. You’re day is coming soon.

My favorite of these featurettes is the Mrs. Negroni. Perhaps it’s the dress, or my love of orange (at the moment), but more likely it’s a love of that bitter Italian aperitif that is getting a workout around the house lately. The cocktails on the blog are not that obscure, but what I’d love to see is an outfit for a Rum Barrel, or a Samoan Fog Cutter- something that you can pair with a giant banana headdress. (I do love the Tiki Drinks). I’m just throwing that one out there…

 

Via Mrs. Lilien
http://blog.mrslilien.com/mrs-lilien-styling-house-blog/2011/5/31/mrs-negroni.html

Frozen Banana Daiquiri- Now for Boys!

I’m a little apprehensive about writing this post. On the one hand, I was asked to make this drink- so the parties involved know that I would then later write about it. But on the other hand, it’s a frozen daiquiri. It’s someone’s secret indulgent drink. Not mine mind you- but another person living in this house.

Bananas aren’t even a favorite of mine. Sure, I will saute some and put them on waffles- when asked for a breakfast with bananas. And yes, I will buy banana ice cream- but only if asked specifically to pick it up cause we never have desserts in the house with bananas. I like them as is- maybe in cereal. But not as a dessert.

This was made for someone who loves bananas. As a dessert.

I find frozen daiquiris sort of a joke, but I will make one if asked to, and I will try very hard to not taste like monkey poo.

For this recipe I used dark rum, I wanted some spice in there. Also, I ended up putting more banana liqueur in there than expected because I was asked to put more in. The person in question enjoyed the heightened banana flavor that it provided. The result- not as sweet as one would expect with a frozen beverage- and that’s a good thing! Also, for someone who doesn’t really enjoy banana-anything, this wasn’t half bad. If you did want to add more sweetness to this, I’d add in a 1/4 teaspoon of rich sugar syrup, or more to taste. Hell, if you like you’re teeth zinging with sweetness that’s your choice. Also, I think it could stand for even more spice, and maybe next time (I’m sure I’ll be asked to whip up some more of these before the summer is over, we have two bags of frozen bananas in the freezer) I’d add in some Miracle Mile Gingerbread Bitters in. Stayed tuned for the “light rum” version of this.

2 ounces dark rum
1-1/2 ounces banana liqueur
1/2 juice of a lime
1 banana
Ice (I used a heaping handful, again, as usual, add to your desired consistency)

In a blender combine all of the above ingredients. Blend until smooth and pour into a chilled margarita/daiquiri glass. Yes, I have a pair of these.

Sleepy Pink Flamingo

Sometimes you need to make a drink quickly. You flip through a cocktail book until you land on something you’re pretty sure you have all the ingredients to. And then it turns out you don’t. A short while ago I was politely asked by my husband if he could pretty much have the upstairs to himself for a work phone conference. On a Sunday. Groan. I had been lingering over some books deciding on trying something out when I found myself in a panic and just grabbed the first cocktail book within reach. The Grog Log. Flipping through I stopped at the Cruzana. Perfect, there was just a hair shy of 2oz of grapefruit juice left from a defrosted bag from some Blanco Oro’s I’d squeezed awhile back. And surely there was a bit of Gold Rum left. I can see a bottle in the way back of the liquor cabinet.

For those of you who live with someone who puts empty bottles back instead of throwing them away… You can guess at my frustration level right about now. But since I was in hurry to grab ingredients and make a mad dash downstairs to mix this drink, I thought I could sub out some gin instead. I happen to like gin and grapefruit sometimes and thought maybe there’s a chance this would work.

2oz grapefruit juice (I used Blanco Oros which produce a bit more sweet juice than your run of the mill grapefruit)
3/4oz Fee Brother’s Maraschino Cherry Syrup (I’d do this to taste depending on your juice- this stuff is sweet)
2oz Broker’s Gin

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and build ingredients. Shake and pour all into a chilled collins glass. (the chilling may not be necessary but it’s a hot one out today and this just tastes better with a really cold glass)

Was this a success with the gin? Well, a couple factors that I would change next time. First, since the grapefruit juice is sweet already, I’d down that syrup to 1/2 an ounce. As is it’s just a tad too sweet for me at 3/4oz in this drink. Second, perhaps this is a drink that could stand a strong base spirit as the gold rum. Something to consider for next time when we do a rum stock up. But overall this worked for me. Mainly sweet with a hint of tart- the gin mellows way out into the background with only subtle notes.

Elliot Gould Approved, Sorta

There’s a bottle of Jim Beam in the house. Not sure when it arrived but it’s there.

A friend of mine sent this image to me a while back.
Sometimes I think my husband reminds me of Elliot Gould. I think he’d rather not hear that. He also gets called Wolverine in public by 7-11 clerks. And drunk guys in Vegas.

Tonight we’re watching the Long Goodbye. A movie I swear up and down I’ve never seen, but one he swears I have seen. The movie made me think of this poster and that I should use Elliot Gould as an excuse to use up some of this Jim Beam.

The first incarnation of this was so wrong. I had to cut down on the lemon juice and up the marmalade for added sweetness. This version though I’m pretty happy with. The drink has the right balance of sweet and sour, with really bright notes from the citrus. Also the citrus and the cherry elements play well off each other.

 

The Long Gould-night Sour
2-1/2oz Jim Beam
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon of Mixed Citrus Chunky Marmalade (Considering this was a home made gift from a friend I do not have a recipe. However, I would suggest looking for a smoky concoction. Better even if it’s mixed with cherries. If you are using a fine cut marmalade, go less than a tablespoon- or rather, just do it to taste.)
3-4 dashes of Miracle Mile Sour Cherry Bitters
Luxardo Cherry garnish

In a shaker filled with ice, build up all of the ingredients sans cherry. Shake vigorously for at least 20-30 seconds to breakdown the marmalade as much as possible. There is going to be a lot o peel left in the shaker, but you’ll also get a lot of bits into your glass which is totally fine. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass containing one luxardo cherry at the bottom.

We’re Stocking Up!

We’re heading out to the liquor store for a stock up! Be back soon with a restocked Shelves page and a couple drinks.

Tales of the Cocktail Has Begun (but I’m stuck here reading the blog)

If you’re even slightly interested in cocktails, you probably are aware that Tales of the Cocktail has begun down in New Orleans (no? you don’t know what I’m talking about? Read about it here and get ready to be jealous). This was on my ‘maybe’ plans but pretty much got written off due to an overabundant work load for both myself and my husband. Boo hoo and oh well. Honestly I’m crap trying to function in high temps with even higher humidity levels. So I’m vicariously living through the outstanding number of blogs covering the events, the parties and anything else thrown in between. Since there are too many places covering it and not wanting to leave any people out, a good starting place if you also want to be in the know would be the blog for Tales of the Cocktail itself: HERE. If you’ve discovered the wonderful thing that is the google reader, you can just add that RSS feed on there and periodically check out what’s happening.  There’s also a twitter feed, but since I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into figuring out how that works, I’ll let you all figure out how to get on there yourselves.

I’m heading out to spend my lunch break catching up and making notes of new products and recipes.

 

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Also, on Bon Appetit this morning ran into THIS post on the front page. Erik over at the Savoy Stomp blog summed up my shared opinion a couple months back in a nice, well articulated argument against what seems to be a mounting backlash to those in the world who enjoy mixology, well crafted cocktails, etc… , read it here. I put this link in here because otherwise my only response was to read the Bon App article in the voice of Andy Rooney and you’ll get a laugh. To each his own, but still, funnier in a crotchety old man voice.